SmartBear's Cyber Monday Web Performance Checklist
Test and Monitor | Posted November 23, 2012

Cyber Monday is just days away, and if you think this holiday rush is primarily a concern for your QA, marketing or sales team, think again. A large spike of online visitors will flood your site in the coming weeks, and when problems arise IT Ops will be the first line of defense.

Unfortunately, when customers call to complain about how slow your site is, it's usually too late. According to Forrester Consulting, the new tolerance threshold for Web response time is just 2 seconds. After 3 seconds, 40% of online shoppers will abandon your site. Once they do, many won’t come back, and they’ll buy from your competitors instead.

As a result, the pressure to optimize Web performance has never been higher for organizations of all shapes and sizes. As you may have noticed by the holiday decorations that went up in your local mini-mall three weeks ago, the holiday shopping season is already upon us! Online retailers have been busy investing in social and mobile marketing programs and launching attractive promotions and incentives for weeks, maybe months, in order to lure and lock-in buyers as early as possible. For them, the hard part is over. For you, it's just beginning.

Ensuring website readiness this holiday season is a multi-stakeholder responsibility and cross-team effort. If you haven't started now, you're already behind the ball. But just to make sure you, your marketing team, and your QA/development counterparts didn't skip any steps, here's a quick checklist that your whole business should go over to ensure that you're fully prepared for this holiday shopping season.

Website Readiness Checklist for IT professionals, QA/Development Teams, and    e-Commerce Owners



Not sure


Have we load tested our website in preparation for this holiday shopping season?

Is our website offering consistent response times across users and geographies?

Do we have a Web performance plan in place to correct under-performing regions?  Do we know if we have under-performing regions?

Do we have any marketing plans or campaigns targeting new regions? Have we checked Web performance in these regions?

Is our site delivering a consistent customer experience, regardless of browser type?

Do we know how our website response time and availability compares with our competition?

Do we have a coordinated process in place to align key business/marketing initiatives with on-going application performance monitoring and load testing initiatives?

Ongoing Website Monitoring

Are we ready to measure our key revenue-driven transactions (shopping carts, database record retrieval, etc.) this holiday shopping season?

Are we measuring the way our real users perceive performance?

Can we quantify how third-party technology and services such as ad networks or payment processes are impacting our site’s performance?

Do we have alerting and escalation policies in place to immediately react as soon as we detect that our website is slowing down?

Do we know how our website response time and availability compares with our competition?

Do we have a contingency plan in place to increase server capacity if needed?

If you answer “No” or “Not Sure” to any of the questions above, you'll be putting your organization at risk for considerable loss of revenue and brand damage throughout the entire holiday season. Take a look at this earlier post about how marketing campaigns can impact your business and share it with your stakeholders. And don't forget: Better late than never.


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